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SAT Reading Practice Questions

Read the passage and answer the questions that follow.

The measure of a man's power to help his brother is the measure of the love in the heart of him and of the faith he has that at last the good will win. With this love that seeks not its own and this faith that grips the heart of things, he goes out to meet many fortunes, but not that of defeat. 

This story is of the people of the Foothill Country; of those men of adventurous spirit, who left homes of comfort, often of luxury, because of the stirring in them to be and to do some worthy thing; and of those others who, outcast from their kind, sought to find in these valleys, remote and lonely, a spot where they could forget and be forgotten. 

The waving skyline of the Foothills was the boundary of their lookout upon life. Here they dwelt safe from the scanning of the world, freed from all restraints of social law, denied the gentler influences of home and the sweet uplift of a good woman's face. What wonder if, with the new freedom beating in their hearts and ears, some rode fierce and hard the wild trail to the cut-bank of destruction! 

The story is, too, of how a man with vision beyond the waving skyline came to them with firm purpose to play the brother's part, and by sheer love of them and by faith in them, win them to believe that life is priceless, and that it is good to be a man. 

1. To what is the author likely referring with the phrase 'waving skyline of the Foothills'?

  1. tall buildings
  2. the surrounding hills
  3. grain silos
  4. enormous cattle

2. Why did the men of the Foothill Country leave their comfortable homes?

  1. Because they had no money
  2. Because they felt called to do something worthy
  3. Because they could not find good wives
  4. Because they got in trouble with the law

3. Which word best describes the author's attitude towards the men of the Foothill Country?

  1. skeptical
  2. perturbed
  3. shocked
  4. admiring

4. What is a likely synonym for 'cut-bank'?

  1. suture
  2. credit union
  3. cliff
  4. gash

5. This passage probably comes from:

  1. the end of a story.
  2. a political speech.
  3. an epic poem.
  4. the beginning of a story.

Select the best words to complete each sentence.

6. He _____ on the platform until he was awoken by the whistle of an ______ train.

  1. chortled____incoming
  2. napped____invading
  3. wrapped____.ascending
  4. dozed____approaching

7. As he stepped into the _____ air, his teeth began chattering _____.

  1. balmy____.inconclusively
  2. frigid____reflexively
  3. humid____convulsively
  4. fragrant____torrentially 

8. Despite her _____ over the lost money, Mrs. Klein knew her savings were _____.

  1. distress____adequate
  2. perturbation____final
  3. exasperation____turgid
  4. solvency____.immense

9. With his usual _____, he swept his hat off his head and _____ elegantly to the young lady.

  1. grin____keened
  2. panache____capered
  3. insecurity____frowned
  4. grace____bowed

10. No matter how hard he _____, the sound of the music remained _____.

  1. collided____furious
  2. strained____inaudible
  3. listened____frozen
  4. collapsed____rapturous

Answer Key

1. B. The only 'skyline' in this desolate region would be the surrounding hills.

2. B. The author states explicitly that the men of this region felt called to do something more than be comfortable.

3. D. The author clearly admires the courage and tenacity of these men.

4. C. The figurative language employed by the author suggests a man riding a trail over a cliff.

5. D. This passage seems to be introducing a scene and a set of characters.

6. D. A person would doze on a train platform. 

7. B. Teeth begin chattering as a reflex response to cold air.

8. A. One would feel distress over lost money, but would be reassured by adequate savings.

9. D. Taking off one's hat and bowing would be considered a graceful act.

10. B. One would have to strain to try and hear something inaudible.

SAT Test Questions

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